Members say: Ambitious, Great singing, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

About the show

Pipeline Theatre Company's world premiere musical investigates the making and breaking of the American dream across three bygone generations.

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In 1911, Rosealia dreams of a better life. In 1933, Kai struggles to keep her daughter safe. In 1955, Hannah finally fights for herself. 'Folk Wandering' is a sweeping musical conjured from the hearts and minds of Jaclyn Backhaus ('Men on Boats'), Andrew Neisler, and nine emerging singer-songwriters, and an exploration of the hope, heartache, and longing that binds us all together.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"Very busy...Its sheer abundance of story and song, and its fast cuts from one narrative to another, can make it feel like a tasting menu...There’s nostalgia in the gorgeously played songs...Backhaus’s stories, vivid with the colors of human experience, are a vital defense against sentimentality...The narrative frame feels forced, though, teetering between earnestness and self-consciousness without solving the problem of uniting the three different plots...Only partly succeeds." Full Review


"There are a few standout dishes, the company is charming, but the whole is less than the sum of its fragmented parts...All signs suggest that we're in for something akin to side-by-side episodes of 'Wishbone' rather than a scrutinizing look at these three eras of American history. And yet, the latter portion of the show — which features one particularly jarring tonal shift — subverts that expectation in a way that leaves us more confused than moved by the suddenly changing winds." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Simultaneously intimate and epic as its multicultural cast conjures three tales from our collective American memory...Even if you guess where these narratives will go, you won’t anticipate the emotional epiphanies they evoke as they spin facts into melodic fiction. The numbers are enthralling throughout and make up for flaws in the storytelling...Although the show occasionally slips into pretension, it gets at something deep about the way the past can hold us back or push us forward." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The only thing linking these stories is the ineptitude with which they are told...Jaclyn Backhaus' book is so sketchy and poorly constructed that it is impossible for these three intercut narratives to build on each other...The score, by ten contributors, lacks a cohesive style or point of view...Andrew Neisler's direction allows for plenty of mugging among the members of the large cast, but there are striking contributions." Full Review


"Beautifully performed...A charming and good-natured musical...The score is an accomplished blend of well-crafted songs in a variety of styles...Neisler's staging is expertly panoramic...Hobbs' choreography is a delightful assortment of dances and movements that represent the different time periods and moods...Though the ambitious linking of the three disparate stories is at times strained, 'Folk Wandering' succeeds as an original and absorbing entertainment." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The overall excellence of the ensemble is one of the joys...Where 'Folk Wandering' attempts to plumb more profound emotional depths, the production suffers from a lack of any really strong connection to the key characters...The overall quality of the scenic and performative elements of disguise some of its shakier dramaturgical elements. The basically strong on a scenic level, but does not seem to know where to land...A thoroughly enjoyable new musical." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Clever, Resonant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to see talented energetic cast in a multigenerationsl musical.

Don't see it if You expect perfection. Lyrics sometime are lost.

Delightful, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if like musicals. really pretty current sounding music. lovely voices and acting. unusual story line and very worthwhile

Don't see it if Need a show to start strong and quickly

Cute, Heartfelt

See it if you like vignettes of Americana set to good music.

Don't see it if the vignettes are not quite long enough to go deep with any one of them, thus making the characters feel a tad stock.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Quirky, Confusing, Great singing

See it if You know someone in the play or you don't mind great musicians with disjointed, confusing plotline. Actors really enjoyed themselves.

Don't see it if You need a plot that makes sense and not just random stories with random people that aren't framed well.

Also I would have enjoyed this a lot more if I'd had any idea who these act... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like stories with easy transactions between each other. Great set design, highly entertaining folk music. Totally worthy seeing it.

Don't see it if You are expecting high tech staging or don’t like folk music.

Clever, Slow, Moving, Entertaining, Quietly intense

See it if You like shows that sort of sneak up on you. Quirky in its plot presentation I wasn’t sure I even liked it then found myself completely in.

Don't see it if You want a lot of straight forward action. This takes time to take shape. For a while you may not know where you’re going but it’s worth it.

Ambitious, Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like good singing and a talented ensemble. Some very good singer-songwriter type songs. Production accomplishes a lot on small budget.

Don't see it if you're looking for more established stories. Characters felt more archetypal than fully fleshed out. Still a show worth seeing for talent.

Uplifting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great live music, Go for the music/singing

See it if you want a cheerful, lively show with great singing & live music. You like (simple & simplified) tales of independent women from years past.

Don't see it if you want surprises, nuanced characters, or historical learnings. This is a predictable, feel-good song-&-music show with a good cast.

Also All of the songs & singing are good, but none of them are catchy enoug... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Pretentious, Dull, Disjointed

See it if you want to see an earnest & arty new folk musical showcasing a jaunty & sometimes poignant score by emerging singer-songwriters.

Don't see it if you expect cohesive directing or a cogent storyline (or 3) to support the jumbled musical styles (by 10 composers) & awkward framing device.

Ambitious, Delightful, Intelligent, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You like new works by upcoming artists done by a wonderful newer non profit theater group

Don't see it if You are looking for fully developed commercial type of musicals.

Also Pipeline is that little company that could. They have continually brou... Read more Read less

Delightful, Epic

See it if You enjoy new musicals. You enjoy stories that span space and time.

Don't see it if You want something familiar. You want a clear thesis.

Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Great singing, Sweet

See it if you are interested in a multi-generational exploration of history.

Don't see it if you want a simple time line, or you want classic and familiar songs

Ambitious, Romantic, Cliched, Great ensemble, Whimsical

See it if You want to melt into a heart-breaker of a show beautifully performed by a tight, energetic ensemble.

Don't see it if You can’t get past a lack of polished plot. This show lovingly meanders, a shame because it’s at its best when the plot clears up.

Clever, Fluffy

See it if you like musicals with fun songs a committed cast or you are interested in how artifacts and objects emotionally resonate through time.

Don't see it if You are looking for a deep theatre experience that asks important questions or explores the complicated aspects of the human experience.

Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like musicals with a folk twist, strong exuberant voices, a storyline that is a testament to human spirit, in an intimate theatre space.

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals, thinly interwoven storylines spanning several decades.

Clever, Romantic, Great singing, Great staging, Multi-layered

See it if Like musicals or stories cleverly intertwined by a multitalented young.cast.

Don't see it if You only like staid old pieces with little invention, and people breaking into song to tell a tale perfectly.

Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Refreshing, Great music

See it if you want to see an amazingly well done Off-Off Broadway production, you love new, non-traditional musical theater, you're into history.

Don't see it if You like traditional musical theater, you don't particularly like country music, you want a really structured plot that is easy to follow.

Also I really loved this show. It was just so well done for an Off-Off Broa... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you love brave, devised, innovative story-telling with fantastic music that digs into themes of Americana and shared memories.

Don't see it if you want a cautious revival or a traditional plot structure. Pipeline makes wonderful magical shows by taking risks: that's good theater!

Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a cute show

Don't see it if You dont want to see a show revolving around a lot of people

Clever, Great acting

See it if Beautiful little show

Don't see it if If you don’t like musicals

During previews
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Don't. 3 unrelated stories and a framing device, all poorly written. Characters we don't care about. But ....good singing.

Don't see it if Gratuitous use of the Triangle Fire, but no exposition to explain what it was to anyone who didn't already know.

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if Like group shows of intersecting stories though none are that interesting

Don't see it if Expected another Great Comet, Hadestown, or a show like that.

During previews
Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Three stories one very short the other two are longer. Very good cast. Three different time periods. The music sound like folk.

Don't see it if Folk music, play is nearly 2 hours with no intermission.

Also Had a small band with 4 people playing on the stage. Some of the songs... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Quirky, Confusing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you're open to unusual production, slow start, ambiguous plots; patient w/ mult time periods, actors in several roles, intimate staging.

Don't see it if seeking traditional format or staging, linear story & time frames, folksy tunes (tho bravo for Jordan Tyson's singing), or clear resolution.

During previews
Funny, Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you love folk music, want to see a young uneven cast tackle a highly active staging and range of styles with energy and enthusiasm.

Don't see it if you dislike musicals, will be annoyed by a sprawling plot that never quite coheres into a full picture.

Also This production is very uneven, but the overall experience is still en... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (29)